Or, confessions of a non-minimalist.
By American standards, I don’t have a ton of clothes. What I do own is worn, and–while I have my favorites–I genuinely like and make a point to wear all the pieces in my closet. As I don’t go out much in the evenings anymore due to the early bedtime of a toddler, my fancier skirts and dresses don’t currently receive much attention; however, I know this is a season in life and those clothes will be worn again. Otherwise I am fairly ruthless, even occasionally going a little too far with the culling and regretting a decision!
But I am not a minimalist, and I discovered this quite by accident. While we were searching for our current home, I was living out of a suitcase while traveling back and forth between cities. My time was more precious than ever, so each week I simply washed everything in my suitcase and placed it back inside. I lovingly packed my favorite pieces into that suitcase: a chunky black sweater with an oversize cowl neck, my black Jcrew Minnies, a leopard print silk blouse, a floor-length black jersey skirt, a jersey blouse that features an interesting cut and a beautifully saturated shade of blue, plus a few more pieces for versatility like skinny jeans, my favorite tees, and scarves and belts for styling. I adored every item in that suitcase. I was ready.
After nearly three months on the road, I was sick of that clothing. No matter how many outfit variations I was able to create, I simply got tired of wearing the same thing over and over again. I had a closet full of beautiful and wearable clothes that brought me joy and acted as a creative outlet in my life, and I couldn’t wait to unpack everything and dive in. It wasn’t exactly politically correct, but there it was: The Truth.
While I certainly still make fashion mistakes, I try to only buy items I love and can wear in numerous ways. Whether I’m buying “classic” classics or “offbeat” classics, I make a point to buy clothing I will want to wear for many seasons to come. But living out of a suitcase taught me I do, in fact, want to wear more than a few select pieces. The capsule wardrobe really isn’t for me.